Manuel arrived in Ohio in 1997 with his American-born step-grandfather on a temporary visa. Manuel didn't realize it, but the man had never adopted him legally. His legal troubles started when he got a letter from his local immigration office. The letter informed him that he had filled out the wrong form when he applied for a Social Security number. They told him to come in for an appointment to straighten it out.First of all, the U.S. immigration service is run by assholes. Pulling something like that is just cowardly.
Manuel was excited about the possibility of getting the Social Security number so he could take his college boards, but when he showed up for the interview he got a shock.
"I got there and they handcuffed me and brought me to jail," he said. He spent the next 16 days behind bars.
Of course, help from higher up came:
In April, Ohio Sen. Mike DeWine introduced a special bill to help Manuel gain legal status.Is all this welcoming support because he's white? There are plenty of stories of Mexican children coming to the U.S. in the early years of their lives and still not having legal status after graduating high school, and being American in every sense except having a passport.
"In my opinion, Manuel's status in this country must change," the Republican senator said. "Through no fault of his own, Manuel is not a legal resident of the United States. Had his step-grandfather adopted him, Manuel would be an American citizen today. And, if his step-grandfather had moved to legalize Manuel's status at some point before he turned 18, he would not be subject to deportation today."